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2016 NCAC Baseball Players of the Week

PLAYER PITCHER
 
May 9th
 

Michael Houdek, Wooster
(Cleveland Hts., OH/Cleveland Hts.)  

Wooster junior left-hander Michael Houdek set the tone for the Scots in their NCAC crossover series sweep of Wabash last weekend as he tossed his first complete-game shutout of the season in the series-opening 3-0 victory over the Little Giants. He scattered six hits, walked just three batters and struck out six to improve to 7-2 on the season and lower his season ERA to 2.99.

Tanner Johnson, Denison
(Jefferson, WI/Jefferson)
  

Denison sophomore outfielder Tanner Johnson led the Big Red on the diamond last week by hitting .563 (9-for-16) at the plate with two doubles, seven runs scored and one RBI. DU’s leadoff hitter also added six walks and was hit by a pitch once to accumulate a .696 on-base-percentage in five games last week. Johnson’s week was highlighted by a 3-for-3 performance in the third and decisive game of DU’s crossover series against Oberlin that lifted the Big Red into the 2016 NCAC Baseball Tournament.

May 2nd

Michael Wielansky, Wooster
(St. Louis, MO/Ladue Horton Watkins) 
 

Wooster freshman shortstop Michael Wielansky was the catalyst for the Scots’ lineup last week as he hit a combined .429 (12-for-18) at the plate to lead Wooster to a 6-1 record and the top spot in the NCAC East standings. He had an extra-base hit in six of the seven games, while slugging an even 1.000 for the week with three doubles, two triples and three home runs. Wielansky, who also had 13 RBI and scored eight times on the week, hit a grand slam to lead the Scots in a 14-2 victory over Oberlin on Saturday, and also added a triple and a homer in a narrow 10-7 non-conference loss against John Carroll on Thursday.

Nanak Saran, Wooster
(Hudson, OH/Hudson)
  

Wooster sophomore right-hander Nanak Saran went 2-0 on the hill last week for the Scots and extended his consecutive scoreless streak to 20 innings in wins over Kenyon and Oberlin. Saran held Kenyon scoreless for seven innings of Wednesday’s 12-1 win, before tossing a 9.0 inning shutout in Sunday’s 6-0 victory over the Yeomen. In 16.0 total innings on the week, he scattered just nine hits and struck out 10 batters.

April 25th
 

Reid Pittard, DePauw
(Lafayette, IN/Jefferson) 

DePauw junior shortstop Reid Pittard sparked a perfect 5-0 week for the Tigers, which included a four-game NCAC West sweep of arch-rival Wabash. In the four games against the Little Giants, Pittard hit an astonishing 10-for-13 at the plate with one double, four RBI and five runs scored. Pittard, who had two or more hits in all five games on the week, finished the week with one double, six RBI and seven runs scored.

Riley Futterknecht, DePauw
(Bristol, IN/Elkhart Central)
  

DePauw junior left-hander Riley Futterknecht picked up the win in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Wabash after striking out 10 and allowing just one unearned run on four hits in the 7.0 inning complete-game effort. In nine appearances this season, Futterknecht has struck out 53 batters and allowed just 11 earned runs in 60.1 innings of work for a 1.64 ERA.

April 18th
 

Joe Killian, Allegheny
(Springdale, PA/Springdale)  

Allegheny senior infielder Joe Killian had a breakout week at the plate for the Gators as he hit .478 (11-for-23) with three doubles and four home runs for a 1.130 slugging percentage. He bashed a pair of homers in the Gators’ 14-12 victory over Pitt.-Greensburg, which included a walk-off blast in the bottom of the ninth inning. He has now belted seven-career homers after entering the week with just two round-trippers to his name. Killian, who also walked three times and was hit by a pitch once for a .556 on-base percentage, added seven RBI and 10 runs scored to lead the Gators to a 3-3 record on the week. 

Bryan Roberts, Wabash
(Fishers, IN/Hamilton Southeastern)
 

Wabash sophomore right-hander Bryan Roberts tossed what is believed to be the first no-hitter in school history in the Little Giants’ 4-0 victory over Wittenberg last Wednesday. In the seven inning game, Roberts struck out seven hitters and allowed just three base runners on a hit batsman and two fielding errors. 

April 11th
 

Devin Van Winkle, Ohio Wesleyan
(Plain City, OH/Jonathan Alder)
  

Ohio Wesleyan junior first baseman Devin Van Winkle led the Bishops to a 3-1 record on the week in non-conference action after hitting .500 (6-for-12) at the plate with two clutch homers and six RBI. He crushed a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth to put OWU up for good in an 11-6 win over Muskingum, before evening the score at 2-2 in Sunday’s win over Case with another homer over the left field wall. Van Winkle, who scored seven times on the week, was hit by a pitch once and also added three walks on the week for a .588 on-base percentage.

Perley Provost, Denison
(South Bend, IN/Culver Acad.) 

Denison sophomore Perley Provost picked up a pair of wins on the hill last week for the Big Red in victories over Baldwin Wallace, 7-0, and DePauw, 2-1. He earned the win against BW after striking out five of the nine batters that he faced in 3.0 innings of work, before striking out three and allowing seven hits in 7.0 innings in the 2-1 victory over DPU. In 10.0 innings on the week, he scattered seven hits, struck out eight and allowed just one unearned run.

April 4th
 

Connor Einertson, DePauw
(Ballwin, MO/Westminster Christian) 
 

DePauw senior first baseman Connor Einertson hit safely in all four games last week to extend his hitting streak to 10 and push the Tigers out to a 2-2 record in the NCAC West. He had three multi-hit games in the series against Wittenberg, which included going a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate in both Sunday wins over Wittenberg. In the four games combined, he hit .667 (8-for-12) with one home run, four runs scored and four RBI.

Ian Walsh, Denison
(Clemmons, NC/West Forsyth)  

Denison senior right-hander Ian Walsh went 2-0 on the hill last week with a 1.35 ERA in 6.2 total innings of work. He struck out five and allowed just one earned run on five hits to earn the win in the 7-2 victory over Ohio Northern on Wednesday. On Sunday against Marietta, he entered the 2-2 game with one out and the bases loaded in the top of the 10th. Walsh forced a pop up and a fly out to get out of the inning, while the Big Red plated the game-winning run in the bottom half of the frame. 

March 28th
 

Justin Cruz, Oberlin
(Pleasanton, CA/Amador Valley) 
 

Oberlin junior centerfielder Justin Cruz was red-hot at the plate during the Yeomen’s final 12 games in Arizona, hitting .514 (18-for-35) with five doubles, his first-career homerun, 11 RBI and 14 runs scored. Cruz, who also walked seven times for a .581 on-base-percentage, had two hits in eight of the 12 games and was also two-for-four in stolen base attempts on the week. The Yeomen posted a 5-7 record over the final 12 games in the Arizona sun, which included wins over NESCAC foes Williams, 15-4, and Middlebury, 5-3.

Wyatt Spector, DePauw
(Barrington, IL/Lake Zurich)
  

DePauw senior left-hander Wyatt Spector closed out the Tigers’ spring break trip in Arizona by tossing his first-career complete-game shutout in a 6-0 win over Gustavus Adolphus on March 25th. In the 7.0 inning game, Spector scattered just five hits and set a season-high nine batters down on strikes.

March 21st
 

Aaron Caputo, Ohio Wesleyan
(Strongsville, OH/Strongsville) 
 

Ohio Wesleyan senior catcher Aaron Caputo helped guide the Bishops to a 3-0 record last week by hitting .500 (6-for-12) with three doubles, two homeruns, five RBI and seven runs scored. Caputo, who also drew two walks and was hit by a pitch once for a .600 on-base percentage, doubled home the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth in a 10-9 victory over Otterbein on Wednesday. In OWU’s 19-2 win over Transylvania on Saturday, Caputo also went 3-for-4 at the plate with four runs scored.

Sam Gillespie, Kenyon
(Darien, CT/Darien)
 

Kenyon senior right-hander Sam Gillespie picked up a pair of victories on the hill last week to lead the Lords to a 6-1 record in Florida. His best game of the week cane in a 3-2 win over Geneva when he fanned 13 batters, walked just one and allowed only three hits. In 13.0 total innings on the week, he struck out 22 batters and allowed just one earned run on five hits for a miniscule 0.69 ERA.

March 14th
 

David Oliger, Wabash
(Brownsburg, IN/Brownsburg) 
 

Wabash senior first baseman David Oliger led the Little Giants to a 4-2 record in Fort Myers, Florida, after hitting .519 (14-for-27) at the plate with six doubles, one triple and two walks for a .533 on-base percentage and an .815 slugging percentage. Oliger, who also had nine RBI and six runs scored on the week, drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Giants to a 10-9 victory over Bluffton on the first game of the spring trip.

Bryan Roberts, Wabash
(Fishers, IN/Hamilton Southeastern) 

Wabash sophomore right-hander Bryan Roberts earned a nine-inning, complete-game shutout victory in the Little Giants’ 1-0 triumph over Bluffton to open their spring break trip in Florida on March 7th. He struck out a career-high 12 batters and allowed just six base runners on four hits and two walks. Roberts retired 12 of the final 14 batters he faced in the game, which included setting eight batters down on strikes during that stretch.

March 7th
 

Eric Zmuda, Denison
(Toledo, OH/St. Francis de Sales)
  

Denison junior Eric Zmuda hit .429 (6-for-14) with three triples and seven runs scored from the designated hitter position in the lineup to lead the Big Red to a three-game sweep over Calvin last weekend. He legged out a one-out triple in the 11th inning on Friday, before eventually coming around to score the game-winning run in a 3-2 victory. In the final game of the series, an 18-11 victory, Zmuda went 3-for-4 at the dish with another triple and a school-record tying five runs scored.


Michael Herrmann, Wabash
(Coatesville, IN/North Putnam) 
 

Wabash junior right-hander Michael Herrmann pitched a nine-inning complete game shutout in the Little Giants’ 7-0 victory over William Peace last Sunday. Herman scattered six hits and struck out five batters, while issuing just two walks.